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WVU receives national recognition for LGBTQ+ outreach and student engagement

Mon, 2019-09-09 15:45

West Virginia University's LGBTQ+ Center has received national recognition on two fronts for its commitment to helping provide a safe and inclusive campus for all students.  

For three consecutive years, BestColleges, in partnership with Campus Pride, has named WVU one of the “Best Colleges for LGBTQ Students” for inclusive programming and outreach efforts in an educational environment. The partnership with Campus Pride offers rating metrics unique to a LGBTQ-friendly campus life.  

WVU business college launches campaign to bring new building to fruition

Mon, 2019-09-09 12:08

(Editor's Note:Read more about the Building Beyond Campaign, find renderings and a video of the future Reynolds Hall or learn more about contributing to the campaign.)

In a little more than two years, the John Chambers College of Business and Economics will write the next chapter in business education in its new home, transforming West Virginia University’s campus, the community of Morgantown and the student experience. 

WVU researcher finds link between deprivation and rural suicide rates

Mon, 2019-09-09 08:54

This is National Suicide Prevention Week, and John Campo—the chief behavior wellness officer at West Virginia University—is examining trends in suicide rates to make suicide prevention more effective. His recent findings suggest that rural residents may be especially vulnerable to suicide when they face economic challenges.

In a new study, published in JAMA Network Open, Campo and his colleagues analyzed county-level suicide trends in the United States from 1999 through 2016 for individuals between the ages of 25 and 64. 

WVU researchers to spearhead collaborative opioid treatment program in rural counties

Thu, 2019-09-05 13:45

West Virginia University’s expertise on combating the opioid epidemic will be utilized in a federally-funded program targeting seven rural West Virginia counties. 

The project, supported by a $1 million U.S. Department of Health and Human Services award, aims to strengthen opioid abuse prevention, treatment and recovery services in Calhoun, Gilmer, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Jackson and Tyler counties. 

WVU Extension Service 4-H program to lead national ‘Game Changers’ science challenge

Thu, 2019-09-05 12:15

The world around us is changing at a rapid pace. With new technologies and innovative programs, the way companies do business and the skillsets they demand is also changing. 

Enter West Virginia University Extension Service’s 4-H Youth Development program. The group was selected – for a second year in a row – to help pique the curiosity and interest of students all over the United States through the 4-H National Youth Science Day challenge. Beginning in October, experts and volunteers from 4-H will bring hands-on programs and activities to students, including West Virginia, as part of “Game Changers,” this year’s science challenge. 

WVU researcher studies differences in the immune systems of men and women

Thu, 2019-09-05 08:30

Females are less susceptible to infection but are 10 times more likely than males to develop an autoimmune disorder, such as hypothyroidism or rheumatoid arthritis. The female immune system is “a double-edged sword” in that way, said Jennifer Franko, a teaching assistant professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology and Cell Biology at the West Virginia University School of Medicine.

In a new study funded by the National Institutes of Health, Franko is investigating if the gut microbiome—the microbes that live in our digestive tract—can alter sex-specific immune responses. Her project will focus on short-chain fatty acids, metabolites that the bacteria in our gut produce as they break down the food we eat.

WVU plans Friday bell-ringing ceremony

Wed, 2019-09-04 14:39

West Virginia University will hold a bell-ringing ceremony, coordinated by the Office of Campus and Community Life and Alpha Phi Omega, a national service fraternity, on Friday (Sept. 6) in remembrance of students Delaney Wykle and Makenzie Deditch.

Wykle, 22, a nursing major from Beckley, died July 4 and Deditch, 17, a high school special student from Grafton, died April 19.

2019 Pride Travel Fund to help WVU Marching Band travel around the state

Wed, 2019-09-04 12:45

Alumni and fans who enjoy performances of the West Virginia University Mountaineer Marching Band have the opportunity to help it travel across the state this fall for performances in Wheeling and Charleston.

Donations are now being accepted to the Pride Travel Fund, established by the WVU Foundation, to help reduce travel costs for the “Pride of West Virginia.”

WVU engineer developing ‘critical’ rare earth elements from coal waste

Wed, 2019-09-04 09:25

West Virginia University mining engineers are developing a method to create a self-supply of rare earth elements in the United States from coal waste. 

“Rare earth elements are critical to the high-tech industry and to national defense, but we heavily rely on China to supply these elements,” said Qingqing Huang, assistant professor of mining engineering. “Right now we have an urgent need to develop our own supply chain in the country.”

WVU student awarded Gilman Scholarship to study neuroscience in Denmark

Tue, 2019-09-03 14:15

A West Virginia University Honors College student who wants to pursue bridging the gap between the technical world and the healthcare sector has been awarded a Gilman Scholarship to study in Denmark. 

Hana Ulman, a senior biomedical engineering major from Martinsburg, plans to pursue a doctoral degree in collaboration with the Rockefeller Neuroscience Center to study the use of computer programming to create predictive models for disease manifestation and treatment. 

STORY PITCH: ‘Together We Are Stronger’ is theme for WVU’s National Recovery Month

Tue, 2019-09-03 09:15

What’s the News

This year's National Recovery Month theme at West Virginia University is Join the Voices of Recovery: Together We Are Stronger highlighting the notion that mental health issues and substance use affects all of us and the ongoing need to build campus and community networks that support recovery. The Collegiate Recovery Program will host events and activities in September designed to increase awareness and understanding of substance use and mental health disorders among college students and celebrate their journey and achievements. 

WVU issues statement, offers condolences to Diviney family

Mon, 2019-09-02 09:45

West Virginia University released the following statement upon learning of the death of former student Ryan Diviney:

“Our sincere condolences are with the Diviney family with word of Ryan’s death. The Diviney family has been an inspiration in its devotion to and care for Ryan since the tragedy almost 10 years ago. All Mountaineers hold Ryan and his family in our hearts during this very difficult time.” 

Using bacteria from hot springs, WVU biochemist studies RNA splicing in humans

Thu, 2019-08-29 15:08

About 70 percent of the human genome doesn’t code for anything. When it’s transcribed to RNA—the instructions our cells follow when they make proteins—most of the message doesn’t contain any useful information. As West Virginia University researcher Aaron Robart put it, it’s “junk DNA.”

Robart is studying how cells catalyze the removal of this non-coding junk to make sense of the RNA that remains. To do it, he’ll use bacteria that thrive in hot springs. The National Institutes of Health has awarded him $1.6 million for the five-year project. 

There’s no beauty premium in college football: Aggressive features = higher pay for coaches, say WVU researchers

Thu, 2019-08-29 10:45

Football was never intended to be a beauty pageant, and this study by West Virginia University researchers backs it up. 

In fact, if you’re a handsome heartthrob coaching an NCAA Division I team, you might get a penalty flag when it comes to pay.

WVU Reed College of Media selects Point Pleasant for community branding

Thu, 2019-08-29 08:39

The West Virginia University Reed College of Media has announced Point Pleasant, West Virginia, as the next partner for BrandJRNY, a project that aims to revitalize communities in the Mountain State through customized branding plans that promote tourism and economic development.

WVU researcher, Pocahontas County Schools partner to improve mathematics education in the Mountain State

Wed, 2019-08-28 10:54

West Virginia University College of Education and Human Services will expand a mathematics education project launched by an alumna in Pocahontas County to five additional school systems in an effort to improve instruction in the state. 

Mountaineer Mathematics Master Teachers (M3T): Supporting Teacher Leadership and Networked Improvement of Mathematics Education in West Virginia will kick off in Grant, Fayette, Mineral, Randolph and Gilmer counties thanks to a $177,000 grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

The positive implications of…climate change? WVU researcher sees agricultural, food availability and economic possibilities

Tue, 2019-08-27 10:45

Depending on your side of the aisle, climate change either elicits doomsday anxiety or unabashed skepticism. 

Jason Hubbart, director of Institute of Water Security and Science at West Virginia University, takes a more centered approach.

Chick-fil-A Kids Zone to debut at Mountaineer football games

Tue, 2019-08-27 08:50

The Chick-fil-A Kids Zone is a pre-game interactive fan entertainment area located at the Caperton Indoor Practice Facility on the south side of Milan Puskar Stadium. The Chick-fil-A Kids Zone opens 2 1/2 hours prior to kickoff at every home football game (except NC State on Sept. 14) and closes a half-hour prior to game time.

WVU project forges pathways for underrepresented faculty

Mon, 2019-08-26 14:15

Researchers at West Virginia University are helping universities nationwide overcome barriers to STEM faculty careers for women and underrepresented minorities.

While there have been increases in the diversity of faculty positions, the share of women and underrepresented minority faculty is considerably less than their share in the U.S. population or in the number of undergraduate students enrolled in science, technology, engineering and math, according to the National Science Foundation.